MMCRU students participate in new archery program
MARCUS — Students at MMCRU have been able to participate in a new sport offering this winter as the school has adopted an archery program. The competition season began in mid-December and will wrap up on Saturday, March 10, with the state meet in Des Moines.
Physical education teacher Shar Duncan brought the sport to MMCRU and serves as coach for the team.
“I went and received my BAI (Basic Archery Instructor) training in Atlantic, which is required to have in order to coach archery,” Duncan said. “I then presented archery information to the MMCRU school board and superintendent regarding the program and what it would consist of. They approved the program and we started the 2017 school year with archery.”
There are currently almost 30 students involved with archery at the high school level at MMCRU who practice around three times a week. The team competes against area schools including Sergeant Bluff-Luton, Lawton-Bronson, Ridge View and Spencer at meets held on Saturdays.
Archers can range from elementary up to high school athletes with those levels being scored separately according to Duncan with a meet following a standard set of procedures.
“Archers shoot at a 10 meter mark three different rounds, with five arrows for each round. An archer can score a perfect 150 from the 10 meter mark,” Duncan said. “Archers are then moved back to the 15 meter mark. They shoot three rounds from this distance, five arrows each time for a perfect score of 150. At the end of the round, scores are added and a perfect score would be 300. Archers must obey whistle commands and stand at the line designated. Archers must score their opponents score and pull arrows one at a time.”
The scores are tallied on a sheet similar to that of a standardized test or ballot and fed through a reader to count up the scores for each individual. The IGHSAU and IHSAA do not officially recognize archery as a sport, so the sport is governed by the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) which is a joint venture between Departments of Natural Resources and Departments of Education.
Individuals are able to advance to the state meet if they reach a certain benchmark in scores. In high school this mark in 524, meaning a person would need to score a 262 or better at two different meets.
Brynn Jones is one of the team’s top shooters and has qualified for state. Her best score this season came at the team’s only home meet of the season on Jan. 27 as she scored a 273 and hit a dozen 10-scores on the day. She also had a 272 score at Ridge View on Feb. 16.
Isaac Goeken has eked out two scores better than 262 while a few others have reached the mark once.
“All of MMCRU archers have improved tremendously,” Duncan said. “Brynn Jones has qualified for state and there are several others who just need to qualify in one more tournament. It’s been very exciting to say the least. On average, MMCRU archers have increased their score by approximately 50 points or more since the beginning of the season.”
Duncan encourages those interested to try out the sport if they get a chance.
“I encourage anyone who is interested in shooting a compound bow to try it, especially if a student isn’t currently involved in anything,” Duncan said. “Archery is unique. Everyone gets to participate. There is no ‘sitting the bench’ in archery. An archer is shooting for their individual score along with shooting to make the team which consists of 12-24 individuals taking the top 12 scores.”
The 2018 Iowa State NASP Bullseye and 3D Tournaments will take place this weekend in Des Moines.